IB Member Spotlight: David Rapoport

David Rapoport
Rapoport Law Offices, P.C.
Chicago, IL

Fast Facts —

Favorite sports teams. Chicago White Sox & Chicago Blackhawks

Specialty. Civil trial practice with special emphasis in plaintiff’s aviation, medical malpractice, product liability and vehicular cases.

Inspirational person. I have been blessed with some great mentors over the years including my 88 year old father. I was raised in the law practice by Warren Eagle. He was my first boss out of law school and has been a key mentor ever since.

Favorite weekend activity. My wife Andrea and I love spending time together and with our children. We enjoy snow-skiing, sailing and power-boating together and I play handball and practice yoga.

One business tip for young professionals.  In a service profession like ours, always do what is right for your clients ahead of yourself and it will work out in the long run for everybody.

 

What’s the best part about being a trial lawyer? What motivates you?

DR: I love that the American system of justice enables people without economic power to bring claims against people and corporations that do. It is the “David vs. Goliath” situation that keeps me motivated every day. I like that the system allows me to be a “legal Robin Hood,” and offers a window of opportunity to succeed for people in unbalanced situations.


You’ve built a highly successful practice by networking and building relationships. Can you talk about some of the steps you took along the way and the advice you would offer other trial lawyers trying to do the same?

DR: I’ve always tried to have big ears and use them to listen carefully to people. Whenever I am presented a story, my goal is to not only try to solve the main problem but to add value by helping in other ways. It is also a very important to lesson to learn to say no to the wrong cases, and there are plenty of those. Make commitments to the people that you can offer the most value.


What do you think is the future of the courtroom? How will technology be a factor?

DR: Technology has hugely affected litigation over the years. Recently, I have seen a movement toward video testimony that allow people to testify from virtually thousands of miles away. Visual technologies are now commonly used for presentation of evidence, and can be critical to success. In 2015, it is hard to find great trial lawyers who are not using technology in court.

As for the future of trials, I remain mildly optimistic that our jury system will remain as-is for the foreseeable future. Although, there are some who discount our Constitutional right to trial by jury and would replace our jury trial system, many are working hard to preserve this important freedom and I have faith in our people to keep the system as-is.


You’re very involved with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Why is this such a passion of yours?

DR: There are a lot of people in the profession who claim to be trial lawyers, yet have never tried a case. In 1990,, I learned about board certification for trial lawyers with substantial experience and the public and earned the NBTA seal of approval. After I became certified, I was selected to membership on the national board. I became more and more involved and realized my passion for public service and volunteer work in this area. I never thought I would end up as the President of this organization and I’m enjoying every minute of my three year term, now half way through.

I am passionate about specialty certification for attorneys because it helps the public and qualified attorneys. There are about a million active lawyers nationally, roughly 30,000 currently are board certified (3%).


You’ve been a member of the Injury Board for over a year now. What are your biggest takeaways from your membership thus far?

DR: I love the Injury Board. IB is a bunch of like-minded firms dedicated to the public interest and community first. This is truly a winning combination. I have thoroughly enjoyed the initiatives we have taken part in and all of our community events. IB membership has helped me focus on community service and helping in ways that are not directly related to my law practice.

If you would like to be featured in an IB member spotlight, please contact Braden Kowalski at bkowalski@injuryboard.org.

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